On The Record, Vol. 4, No. 1, Ed. 1 Friday, June 15, 2012 Page: 13 of 32
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CM THE RECORD
A LOOK AT
BY RYNE GANNQE
Being fenced in a 750-square-foot
octagon cage with another' person
who is out to punch, kick, slam or
grapple his or her way to a victoiy is not
everyone's idea of fun. However, mixed
martial arte is a growing phenomenon
that has grown from its roots in Brazilian
''anything goes" fights of the mid-1900s
to a sport practiced in gyms around the
world, including North Texas,
Broughtto the US. in 1993, the founding
of the Ultimate Fighting Championship
helped bring lire nascent sport to a new
.Each UPC fight consists of trass five-
minute rounds, or five rounds in the case
of a title fight. Regulated by state athletic
commissions, MMA fighters, are not
allowed to bite, scratch or kick to tin-groin
in sanctioned fights. Rules are in place for
safety, but essentially an vi l ring else goes,
including a wide variety of techniques and
styles. One-dimensional MMA fighters
are nonexistent — success in the sport
requires knowledge of wrestling, Jiu-Jitsu,
kickboxing, karate and often many other
The T3FG is tile 3SFL or Xli \ <>f mixed
martial arts, but there are plenty of minor
leagues looking to find the next great
fighter. Many of I hose farm-team players
with big-league dreams train here it i
ISorlh Texas at One of two gyms: North
Texas MMA of Flower Mound or Texas
Klito MMA in Denton.
''Ill all of Texas, not until the last three
years have you seen a flood of fighters go
to the big shows, the UFC, Pro. Elite, all
of that,"* said Matt .Larey, a UNT history
graduate and instructor at North Texas
MMA. "WeVe always had the talent"
In the past, location and marketing
were problems.MMA.faced in North Texas,
Larey mentioned one of tire gym's
fighters, six-foot 240-pound Tony Melton,
as an up-and-comer to watch for. On June
16, Melton competes for the Immortal
Kombat III vacant heavyweight title, in
"Tmlliliillx. it's I lie gym] got me back
into shape," Melton said.
North Texas MMA's. cross-town rivals at
Texas Elite MMA are. also busy training for
Texas Elite Coach and Owner Kirk
Gibson is slated to fight Josh Quayhagen
July 7 at I lie International Extreme: Fight
Association in Yinton, Louisiana.
"A lot of people see it On TV and don't
understand that they can.do it themselves,"
Gibson said. "You don't have to train to
fight. You can just train as a way of life;"
Gibson stresses that technique.-, can
be learned, but it's other intangibles that
make a great fighter
"Technique can.be taught to: anyone, but
respect and heart is SomethingyoU're kind
of born with" Gibson said. "So when I'm
training somebody, what I mean by heart
is that they don't quit"
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ALLMsLE MATTLAfEy POTGPMS A SUBMISSION
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Bottoni, Paul. On The Record, Vol. 4, No. 1, Ed. 1 Friday, June 15, 2012, periodical, June 15, 2012; Denton, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth255944/m1/13/: accessed November 20, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .